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Activist Capitalism and Supply-Chain Citizenship: Producing Ethical Regimes and Ready-to-Wear Clothes

Damani James Partridge
Current Anthropology
Vol. 52, No. S3, Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Social Life of the Corporate Form: Edited by Damani J. Partridge, Marina Welker, and Rebecca Hardin (Supplement to April 2011), pp. S97-S111
DOI: 10.1086/657256
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/657256
Page Count: 15
Subjects: Anthropology
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Activist Capitalism and Supply-Chain Citizenship
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Abstract

In this article I examine the new forms of citizenship that have resulted from the connections between the emergence of new corporate ethics (including fair trade) and outsourcing. The process I call “supply-chain citizenship” is based on a collection of long-distance promises of care that are economically and politically backed by transnational corporations. I analyze the trend toward what the New York Times recently called “activi[st]-capitalism” and how this move is changing relationships between corporations and consumers and consumers and people working along global corporate supply chains. This study builds on my previous research on workers’ bodies, citizenship, and sovereignty, now examined along global corporate supply axes. I observe the kinds of political mobilization that are coming into being as the result of links between corporate governance, negotiations between corporate and nation-state sovereignty, and the related setting and enforcement of global labor and environmental standards. In my investigation, I trace ethnical production from design houses to factory floors, from showrooms to department stores, and from NGO monitoring agencies to consumer protest networks.

Notes and References

This item contains 33 references.

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